Talk:Klondike (solitaire)

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Different ways of playing[edit]

How many ways are there to make Klondike as easy or difficult as you like?? Here they are. You are free to add more if you can:


You can set not to allow redealing, or to allow 1, 2, 3, or 4 redeals, or to redeal as often as you like. Setting this option to a low number means a harder game.


You can set this to 1, 2, or 3 cards at a time. Setting this option to a high number means a harder game.

Filling Empty Columns:

You can select this to any card, only a king, only a card from the stock as long as the stock isn't empty, and no card at all. The last of these would mean a really difficult game.

Suit discrimination:

Equal suit, equal color, unequal color, and no suit discrimination. This gives 16 variants because there are 2 suit discriminations that are not necessarily the same, how the foundations are built up and how the columns are built down. The easiest of these is obviously no suit discrimination at all.

Pulling from foundations:

Microsoft Solitaire allows pulling cards (even aces) back down from the foundations to the piles. This increases the odds of winning considerably, and might make the game more enjoyable (personal opinion), as some interesting strategies are made possible. I haven't seen this mentioned in any rule set yet, not even in Microsoft's help text.

Klondike (solitaire)[edit]

Moved from Klondike solitaire to be in line with other solitaire game article names. -- Netoholic 04:47, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The "(5.0)" on the picture is unnecessary - the version number in the about box refers to the version of windows [5.0 is windows 2000] - solitaire itself doesn't have a version number [and, as far as i know, the only changes that have ever been made to it are to make it 32-bit and to load card images from an external library]

Yep. Just look at the status bar--still Windows 3.x style! --Jason McHuff 02:19, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Canfield, Demon and Klondike[edit]

The Penguin Book of Patience has this division differently. According to them, "Klondike" is the name for either Demon (see Canfield (solitaire)), or Canfield (see Klondike (solitaire)). Should something be done about that? Mysha (nl)

Odds of Winning[edit]

Any deck that can be solved in Thoughtful Solitare can be solved in regular solitaire as well: simply make all the right choices.

  • Perhaps the question should be rephrased as, "given perfect use of limited knowledge, what percentage of decks will be solved"
  • Then it seems that the percentage of decks that can be solved in thoughtful solitaire would be an upper bound on the percentage of decks that would be solved using perfect strategy in standard solitaire.
  • Lower limit would be set by the best computer player devised so far, or the long run average for the best human player.
I don't understand why it's so difficult to compute the possible number of winning games of solitate. It would take time, yes, but I'm just shocked no one has done it. RobertM525 05:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

There's about 2 billion possible deals; if it ever is found out, I'm sure it won't just be one person doing all the work. 17:47, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Not one person, of course. But a computer should be able to run through all of them given enough time... RobertM525 11:20, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I remember reading about someone who kept records of his own games of Klondike and came up with an average of one game in 30. (This is for the one-card-at-a-time-with-no-redeal version.) This seems about right to me. Kostaki mou 01:18, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

At the moment the article states that: "A modified version of the game called "Thoughtful Solitaire" has a known solution strategy that works 70% of the time but requires significant computing power. This solution strategy does not solve every deck that is solvable, but is about twice as good as the best human players." Does it refer to games where redeals are allowed or not? Because with redeals it's easy to reach 70% of wins anyway. Here is a screenshots of solitaire statistics after 1000 games with 88% wins (redeal and undo allowed) File:Http://

Actually, the basic premise here is false - not all solvable Thoughtful games are solvable in Klondike. In Thoughtful it is possible that the initial deal will include stacks topped by a downward sequence of cards in alternating colors. That sequence could then be moved off as a unit in Thoughtful, but not in Klondike, because in Klondike all but the top card would be face down. What people are trying to get at is the solvability when you know what the face down cards are, which is not the same as the solvability when you deal the cards face up. JanDWolter (talk) 21:52, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Merge from Wes Cherry[edit]

I claim that the Wes Cherry article should redirect to Klondike (solitaire)#Computerized versions, with any content unique to his article moved over, for what I think are fairly obvious reasons. There's no evidence that he's notable for anything other than developing Windows Solitaire, and his article says little or nothing about him except that he did so. Stellmach 21:56, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Okay, this merge seems to be entirely uncontroversial. Going ahead. -Stellmach 13:23, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Demerge from Wes Cherry[edit]

The information on Wes Cherry has been removed except for a link. Either this information should be restored, or the Wes Cherry article should be demerged. I would favour demerger because it is the more accident-resistent way. 10:14, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

"Most Played" assertion[edit]

Since computer games in general do not keep any kind of tracking information about how much time has been spent playing them, it seems as though the assertion that Klonidke has been the most commonly played one, while an appealing notion, will always be impossible to verify. -Stellmach 14:01, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

We can't do much about the data, but it seems like it should be easy to find one or more sources that make that claim. Seems more like a citation issue than an accuracy one, though it would be a good idea to add a comment similar to yours afterwards. -FunnyMan 05:03, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed the assertion since it just can't be proved. — Hex (❝?!❞) 23:55, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I've added three sources that assert it is "most popular". While it is debatable whether or not those assertions can be proved as correct, it's not our job to decide what is proven and what isn't. It's a common assertion that the Solitaire shipped with windows is the most popular game on a personal computer/handheld - one that is reflected in popular culture and the media. Hence, finding sources is not an issue. Icemotoboy (talk) 22:28, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


What's "Maxcards", as referred to in the rules section? If it's the game referred to at, I think we can do without this reference. Rojomoke 11:22, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Windows version[edit]

Shouldn't we mention the Windows version a bit more? It's surely the most widely played PC as well as Windows game of all time and some would say is a significant drain on human labour in offices Nil Einne 23:31, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


I would like to see a scoring section that explains how the score is computed. in the windows version there are two different types of scoring and I think it would be interesting to know the difference.--Movesandpepper (talk) 17:41, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

On Windows Solitaire, the scoring is as follows:
  • Moving a new card to a table pile 5 points
  • Turning over a card 5 points
  • Moving a card to a base pile 10 points
  • Removing a card from a base pile -15 points
  • Turning the deck over -100 points for one card draw
  • Turning the deck over -20 points for three card draw after the third rotation
  • Undo command undoes the score on Vista, -3 points previous versions
  • In timed games, for each 5 seconds -2 points
  • In timed games there is also a time-dependent bonus of around 4000 to 6000 points on completion.

My Vista Home Premium version has an error that gives 10 points for moving the aces between bases. I noted it in the article and had it removed when someone else found their version did not have the error. My version also does not grant 5 points for turning a card over when moving an ace to the base on the same move. Could anyone verify the differences on their versions --

The second mode is Vegas Scoring (which I believe is actually used in some casinos). You pay $52 for each game and receive $5 for each card on the base piles when you have exhausted the deck once – so 11 cards home is a win. -- (talk) 19:54, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Klondike/Thoughtful difference[edit]

I admit that this constitutes original research, but as far as I can tell, there is a difference between Klondike and Thoughtful which causes the odds of winning to be different. The difference is when the reversed card at the top of a pile of reversed cards is the number higher than and the opposite colour to the card at the bottom of the pile on top of it, those playing thoughtful will be able to see that the two cards can be used as a run of 2 (or more) cards, whereas those playing Klondike will have to flip over the reversed card before they can be treated as a run. Is this a genuine difference? If so, will this actually cause a different in the odds? If these questions can't be adequately answered, I don't think that we can actually say that Thoughtful and Klondike have the same chances of being able to be won.Labrat256 02:14, 13 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Labrat256 (talkcontribs)

A scholarly source...[edit]

check out "The Complexity of Solitaire" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 18 July 2010 (UTC)


There should be a section on Klondike strategy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


When was Klondike created, how long has people played this particular solitaire? It predates the computer solitaire, doesn't it? Swimsuit Zipper (talk) 11:48, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Where does the name come from?[edit]

Where does the name Klondike come from for this form of solitaire? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

I also came here to this article to try and find the answer to this question, as I just installed Solitaire on Windows 10 and it was the first time I've come across the name Klondike for the game. Irrelevant background information: I was first introduced to the game as being called Patience, long before I first played a computerised version of the game (which incidentally was also called Patience) on an Acorn Archimedes in the early 1990s. I first came across the name Solitaire years later on a Windows 95 machine. Obviously, I'm not disputing the name; I'm just curious. --Beeurd (talk) 18:39, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

Odds of winning definitions[edit]

In the Odds of winning section of the article, four outcomes are claimed, but only three are defined: Theoretically winnable, playable and unplayable. Is the fourth outcome "Games won?"

VastError (talk) 04:51, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Number of possible hands[edit] recently wrote that there are 8 x 10^67 or 52! possible number of hands instead of "7,000 trillion". I got rid of his rambling about the Big Bang but kept the number for now, because it seems to make sense (although there is no source and it is technically original research). Highly Ridiculous (talk) 16:46, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

In actuality, the number of meaningfully unique names would be less, as there would be functionally no difference if you swapped all spades for clubs or all hearts for diamonds, or all reds for blacks. I haven't done the math to see what that would drop it down to though. Tristan (talk) 17:59, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Error in image caption?[edit]

A lost game of Klondike. The stock is shown at the upper-left. The upper section of the Tableau shows downturned cards, and the lower section shows the upturned cards. Except the 2♥, no cards can be moved.

This image and caption is in the "Probability of winning" section. Can't the seven of spades also be moved, onto the eight of hearts (carrying the six of diamonds with it)? Herostratus (talk) 02:21, 19 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes it certainly can be moved. IMHO it even seems playable, for one can move the 5♣ in the stock (it's the 13th card from right) onto the 6♦ and then move the 4♥ with 3♠ to it, in this way a downturned card will be freed. But I don't know if one can win this game afterwards. --WhitePhosphorus (talk) 14:41, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
Thoughtful Solitaire is defined to be draw three, in which case none of the available stock cards (Qd, 9c, Kc, Kd, 9h, 6s) are movable. I've added a note to that effect. Arcorann (talk) 01:09, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

History and name[edit]

I've tweaked the history and name information in the light of better, albeit no doubt still imperfect, information. Arnold is incorrect to say that Canfield is a misnomer for Klondike; it is the traditional English name for the game, although that tradition is waning in the face of computer game competition. It is true though that in America, Canfield might be perceived as a misnomer, since it is the name of another game. Parlett is likely to be right about this as he is a card game historian rather than a card game compiler like Arnold.

There is more work to be done though. I am suspicious about the game appearing at the time of the gold rush because I can find no record of "Klondike" before 1849. However, games called Demon, Triangle, Fascination and Canfield, names sometimes given as synonyms for Klondike, are recorded in the early 20th century and may be its antecedents. However, I have yet to establish whether they were played to the same rules. The trouble is that card game compilers often don't check their facts and frequently describe the origin of games with apparent certainty when in fact they are talking utter drivel. Among the more laughable myths is the century-old one that Bierspiel is a German card game of the Rams family. There is absolutely no evidence for that in German sources whatsoever, unsurprising really because Bierspiel just means "drinking game". Bermicourt (talk) 19:24, 12 October 2020 (UTC)